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Using LEAN To Transform IT Services

April 29, 2015

The LEAN movement is not quite two decades old, but has already rewritten rules across industries and impacted each department in an organization to some degree.

Instead of dismissing the LEAN movement, your organization can use its guiding principles to rethink the way IT services are provided. This approach can help you innovate and keep pace with technology, even when IT resources are limited.


Use LEAN to quickly identify the problems your customers want you to solve.



Instead of brainstorming in the vault, working through a waterfall development cycle, and then presenting services for feedback, LEAN users are actually going out into the field, asking customer opinion, and using the raw data provided by customers to innovate services.

By providing a basic level of IT service and seeking feedback from departments on the usefulness of that service, you can tailor services to provide maximum IT effectiveness without spending money on solutions that simply do not work in-field.


LEAN ensures you aren’t wasting resources on unnecessary customizations.



Service providers seek feedback on "bare bones" products and then only build the product out to meet articulated needs. Discovering upfront what is required not only saves time and money, but delivers an end-product more suited to your customer’s needs.

LEAN helps define your competitive landscape.



LEAN service providers don't rely on comprehensive analytics or lengthy business plans right out of the gate. Instead they begin with a simple hypothesis and accept there is a lot of information they just don’t know.

Rather than investing time in worrying about things like the velocity of change, LEAN service providers embrace the unknown to then begin defining a landscape. The truth: no one knows what the landscape will look like, including their competition. This perspective frees up time and resources. Adopting an agile development perspective reduces time-to-development and overbuilding.


Take advantage of the fact you don’t have to develop a market.



LEAN service providers are striving to develop market share, so they are constantly evaluating and adapting their approach in the competitive landscape. Ask yourself: when is the last time you solicited performance feedback– and then incorporated what you heard?


No longer are your internal customers required to use you, so you have to earn the business of your customers.


The best place to start is to build a business canvas, so we put together a business canvas template for you to use.


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